Let’s start with the good news: your enterprise has already got what it takes, when it comes to data. At least, a lot of it:
- Knowledge about your products
- Customer feedback and individual preferences
- Data communicated at POS and through CRM
- Clients interaction in your physical stores
- Behavior and interaction on your website, social media and apps
- Communication via phone, email and mail
… and the list goes on. You can – and most definitely should – know more about your customers with each interaction. And just like in any good relationship, you shouldn’t forget what they like (and don't like!), what’s likely to be in their budget, what makes sense for them now and how you can be helpful for them.
Are you already guessing the problem here? It’s the data being scattered among teams and systems! On average, 80% of enterprise knowledge is spread across scattered sources. Thanks to technology, you can now access an abundance of real-time data derived from client behavior, both online and offline – but even if you’re already collecting data, chances are you’re not using them properly.
And you’re not alone: Gartner concludes that less than 10% of companies achieve the “360-degree view” of their clients, and only 5% manage to actually use this information to its full potential. On the flip side, this shows you how much of a winning margin it will give you to act fast.
Unlocking the full potential of customer data, making each interaction contribute to your overall knowledge, may mean rethink your approach to data collection and storage, review website analytics and KPIs and even align customer-related workflows inside your organization.
But once you have clear, automated workflows in place, you’re able to predict preferences and purchasing behaviors, to communicate accordingly and to suggest the right offers or procedures. Your communication becomes 100% consistent along the buyer journey; a decisive factor for optimal customer experience and loyalty. These advantages are no longer nice-to-haves, they’re becoming must-haves now.
Only time will tell the long-term impact of this pandemic on retail industry worldwide. However, data and advanced analytics, built on solid technology, will become more and more of a cornerstone to drive sales and retain customers in the long run.